31 in 31: Top Ten Prospects Vol. 3 – Boston Bruins

Welcome back to my 31 in 31 Top 10 Prospect Series.

Yesterday, we took a look at the Arizona Coyotes’ top ten prospects, highlighted by forwards Nick Merkley and Barrett Hayton as well as defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Today, we’re going to be looking into the Boston Bruins organization and dissecting the interesting draft record they’ve sported over the past couple of seasons. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

1. Ryan Donato (C, 2nd Round, 56th Overall in 2014)

Ryan Donato just barely matches my criteria to be considered a prospect. After an outstanding final season with Harvard University, the Scituate, Massachusetts native registered nine points in seven games with the Bruins last year. He’s off to a bit of a slow start this season with only two points in 13 games, but he remains their top prospect nonetheless.

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2. Trent Frederic (C, 1st Round, 29th Overall in 2016)

Trent Frederic was the Bruins’ 2nd first round pick last season along with Charlie McAvoy, and after a very successful final season with the University of Wisconsin that saw him put up 32 points in 36 games, Frederic is in the middle of his first pro season with the Providence Bruins. He has six points in 14 games in his first AHL stint.

3. Urho Vaakanainen (D, 1st Round, 18th Overall in 2017)

Initially projected as a late first/early second round draft pick, some could say Urho Vaakanainen was drafted a little bit higher than he was supposed to go, but he remains a very solid prospect for the Bruins who’s already been given a look at the NHL level. Born on New Years Day, the Joensuu, Finland native is spending his first North American season with the Providence Bruins and has registered two points in six games thus far.

4. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (C, 2nd Round, 45th Overall in 2015)

Drafted in the second round of the incredibly stacked 2015 Entry Draft, Forsbacka-Karlsson (or JFK for short) has gotten an early look at the NHL level this season, having so far put up two points in nine games. He’s still paying his dues at the AHL level however and has tallied four points in 10 games there. Along with Donato and Frederic, JFK is another solid centre prospect who provides the Bruins with some solid depth once the likes of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire.

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5. Dan Vladar (G, 3rd Round, 75th Overall in 2015)

Despite absolutely butchering the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft and taking guys like Zachary Senyshyn when prospects like Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, and Kyle Connor were still available, the Bruins actually did pretty well in the later rounds amid first impressions. Vladar is currently in his first full AHL season and sports a record of 4-4-0 with a save percentage of .902 and a GAA of 2.66.

6. Jack Studnicka (C, 2nd Round, 53rd Overall in 2017)

A household name in the OHL with his brother Sam Studnicka spending five years there, Jack is finding more success than the elder Studnicka and is so far in what could be his last OHL season. Currently in his second season as captain of the Oshawa Generals, the Tecumseh, Ontario native currently has 32 points in 27 games and could represent Team Canada at the World Juniors this season.

7. Peter Cehlarik (LW, 3rd Round, 90th Overall in 2013)

Cehlarik is one of those rare top prospects from the 2013 NHL Draft who hasn’t either made the NHL or completely fallen off the map yet. The Slovakian winger is currently in the AHL further developing his game, and he currently has 11 points in 19 games thus far. Cehlarik has also seen some NHL action with a combined four points in 18 games.

8. Jakob Zboril (D, 1st Round, 13th Overall in 2015)

The Bruins were known to have made some..well..interesting choices in the first round of the 2015 draft. Picking up Jakub Zboril at 13th overall, it seemed like a good pick at the time but he hasn’t performed to his full potential since his draft season. He’s working his way back onto the map however, and has put up six points in 18 games for the Providence Bruins this season.

9. Ryan Fitzgerald (LW, 4th Round, 120th Overall in 2013)

Just as I was talking about Cehlarik and how rare still-top prospects from early drafts like 2013 are, Fitzgerald pops up as another example. Fitzgerald just turned 24 and he’s having a pretty solid AHL season thus far, putting up 19 points in 22 games. He’s a potential call-up candidate within the next little bit.

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10. Axel Andersson (D, 2nd Round, 57th Overall in 2018)

Perhaps the youngest player on any of my prospect reports thus far, the 2000-born Andersson is currently playing for Sodertalje SK of Allsvenskan in Sweden, and has put up only two points in 21 games thus far. He has potential to be a solid defenseman for Boston in the future, but he will likely continue the majority of his development overseas.

Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow where we’ll take a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ top prospects.

stats from eliteprospects.com

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